Thai economy trots tentatively into Year of the Horse

Thai economy trots tentatively into Year of the Horse

2014 will be another challenging year for business with the domestic political unrest likely to be prolonged and the global economic recovery likely to be slow.

Various sectors also need to prepare for regional market integration under the ASEAN Economic Community next year, at a time when skilled workers are in short supply in the labour market.

Here are the outlooks for each sector for the Year of the Horse:

Export

The International Trade Promotion Department and the Economic and Business Forecasting Centre have cited the uncertainty of the global economic recovery, internal political conflict - including the possibility of a prolonged term for a caretaker government - the volatile exchange rate and a shortage of labour in many industries, particularly skilled labour, as major concerns for traders.

Rising costs of production, energy, electricity and transportation will also make life tough for manufacturers and exporters.

A natural disaster could be a two-edged sword, causing crop prices to climb but cutting production.

Auto

Although the market has returned to normal now that the effects of the first-car scheme have faded, it is difficult to predict what this year will bring.

There are three major factors that will determine whether the forecast will be realised, Pitak Pruttisarikorn, executive vice president of Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co, said last week.

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